Maybe it's because I unearthed stacks of old bricks laying in a criss cross pattern under heaps of dirt and weeds.  Or, maybe it's because of the low stone walls that have sunken perfectly into the ground.  Perhaps it's the little tree growing right in the middle or the terra cotta pots full of mud and oyster shells.  Maybe these little treasures that were laid here long before me are why I chose to plant the first garden here.
I wish I could remember the name of the book I read years ago, the one that still has me dreaming of secret gardens with rows of sweet peas and arbors of climbing roses.  Where the main character, I believe her name is Claire, retreats to her gardens late at night, and with the breeze blowing through her soft linen nightgown, she tends to her flowers by the light of the moon, sometimes falling asleep under a bush and waking up sprinkled with morning dew.
I read that book over and over, only to make sure those words were deeply engrained in my mind. And now that I have the yard to do so, I started today making it come true, starting with the remains of the hidden garden I found.



In case you remember and wonder, I'm still collecting. Each morning I walk in the woods, gathering pinecones and twigs and other pretty things that have fallen from the trees. Some days I explore past the fence and up near the road, but most often, I follow the trails left behind by the fishermen. They lead to secret watering holes one could only find by exploring deep in the trees.

There, the woods are thick with pine trees that are ages old and creeks that have forged their own paths between fallen branches.  Sometimes there's not a sound, and others, it's loud and alive. When the sun is above it creates the most beautiful maze of light, bouncing from branch to branch, lightening the paths, making them golden and twinkly.  If I stand between the trees and look up, they reach the sky almost and I feel so very small.
I dry the leaves I collect and wire them into sweet little wreaths and string together pinecones with velvet ribbon I found at a church thrift store.  They lay in bowls and hang from the hearth and some are put away for holiday gifts.
These woods treat me so well.



I got to the house early this morning, hoping to see what the views look like at sunrise.  Overnight almost, the deeper tones of fall have filled in.  The yard is covered in yellow and red leaves and I don't even think to rake them up.  They blow and land where they want, and that's where they'll stay. I walked from corner to corner, it felt strangely warm and familiar. 

Right now, it's an unruly tangle of vines and ivy and twisted trunks, years of disregard have shaped the borders more into mangled barriers. It's untamed and wild.  The yard is long, almost an acre on each side of the house.  Once upon a time it was part of an orchard, if you walk along the back edge you'll find the pecan trees growing through old fences and around granite walls.  There are fig and pear trees too, they've found themselves a spot to grow at the other far end, near an old abandoned house whose windows peek through the trees and scare me at night.

The views were beautiful, yellows and reds and oranges swirling and blowing and by nine o'clock the kitchen was warm and bright.

Yes, this yard and I are going to be friends, sharing coffee in the morning, lunches under the shade of the trees, hand picked flowers, vegetables from the freshly tilled gardens, stories along the fences and parties under the stars.  
I'm so looking forward to it's company.
and all of you who visit and share with me here, I want this to be an intimate and familiar place for you.  A comfortable and welcoming one, as if you were sharing an afternoon with me in the yard.  This final look is going to stay, so you know you're here.